Activists rally for justice in Patrick Lyoya's death
Body and dash camera footage from the officer-involved shooting that killed 26-year-old Patrick Lyoya will be released Wednesday at 3pm by GRPD.
Patrick Lyoya’s name echoed through the streets of Grand Rapids downtown on Tuesday evening, as crowds marched to address city leaders at Grand Rapids City Commission Meeting, with a list of demands. Among the items was releasing the name of the Grand Rapids Police officer who killed the Congolese refugee during a traffic stop more than a week ago.
“We’re requesting that city officials resign from their position they’ve abused their power…we’re asking for them to resign, and we’re also asking for justice for Patrick Lyoya," Ola Banji Ola Tunde, a general with the Royal Black Panther Party of Grand Rapids said.
Ola Tunde and several others in the night’s outcry for justice cited the many protests local activists have held over the past two years surrounding police brutality, saying they went unheard.
“If people would have listened it would have been preventable, but now it’s just like 'I told you so' moment that’s exactly what it is. 'I told you so,'" he explained.
As community members filled the meeting room, a moment of silence was held for Lyoya. Hours of public comment followed, surrounding Lyoya's death at the hands of a GRPD officer.
“Many of us as refugee and immigrants came to America for safety and this is what happened, you took it away. You killed Patrick Lyoya. That’s just one thing that shouldn’t have happened if you really listened to us," one speaker said.
Commission leader responses closed the meeting. Third Ward Commissioner, Nathanial Moody, offered his feedback in an apology.
“Let me apologize to you forgetting my responsibility of being your commissioner. I dropped the ball. I was elected to listen and to hear you, but I ended up scolding you. I’m sorry for that. I am sorry that this tragedy has taken place in our city. I’m saddened and heartbroken for Patrick’s family and for Patrick’s life. I ask that you would give us an me another chance and let us do this thing right," Moody said.
Body and dash camera footage of Lyoya’s slaying will released Wednesday at 3pm during a GRPD press conference.